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View of Srikalahasti Temple and surrounding areas. by Kiran Kumar Vemuru

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Taken by
Kiran Kumar Vemuru Kiran Kumar Vemuru
Explore score
1
Size
1.22 Gigapixels
Views
1052
Date added
Aug 12, 2011
Date taken
Aug 12, 2011
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Description

Srikalahasti Temple is located in the town of Srikalahasti,Chittoor District in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the most famous Shiva temples in South India, and is said to be the site where Kannappa, one of the 63 Saivite Nayanars, was ready to offer both his eyes to cover blood flowing from the Siva linga before the Lord Siva stopped him and granted him mukti.Sri Kalahasti temple, situated 36 km away from Tirupati is famous for its Vayu deva temple, which is the only shrine for the God of Wind in India. Constructed in the 12th century by the Chola king, Rajendra Chola, Vayu is incarnated as Lord Shiva and worshipped as Kalahasteeswara.
This temple is one of the most impressive Siva temples in India. Vishwakarma Brahmin Sthapthis who sculpted this temple need to be eulogized for their excellent architectural cognizance. This temple used to features an enormous, ancient gopuram (entrance tower) which is being rebuilt after it collapsed. The tower is 36.5 m (120 ft) high. The entire temple is carved out of the side of a huge stone hill.
The initial structure of this temple was constructed by the Pallava dynasty. The Chola kings and the Vijayanagara kings also gave great help for the temple development. Like other great temples, the construction period of Sri Kalahasthi temple lasted centuries. Around the tenth century, the Chola kings renovated the temple and constructed the main structure.The outer walls and the four gopurams were constructed in the period of Sri Veera Narasimharayar in twelfth century. The 120 feet (37 m) high main gopuram and the 100 pillar mandapam were constructed by Krishnadevaraya, the Vijayanagara king in 1516. Mr.Ramanathan Nattukkottai Chettiyar of Devakkottai, developed the structure as it is today by spending one million dollars in 1912.
This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Siva is one of the five Panchabhootha stalams (temples celebrating Lord Siva as the embodiment of the five primary elements), air (wind) being the element in this case; the other elements being water at (Thiruvanaikaval), fire at (Annamalaiyar Temple), earth at (Ekambareswarar Temple) and space at (Chidambaram Temple) that Siva embodies.
There is a lamp inside the inner sanctum that is constantly flickering despite the lack of air movement inside. The air-linga can be observed to move even when the priests close off the entrance to the main deity room, which does not have any windows. One can see the flames on several ghee lamps flicker as if blown by moving air. The linga is white and is considered Swayambhu, or self-manifested.
The main linga is untouched by human hands, even by the priest. Abhisheka (bathing) is done by pouring a mixture of water, milk, camphor, and panchamrita. Sandal paste, flowers and the sacred thread are offered to the utsava-murti, not the main linga.


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